Cool wisps of smoke still rises from the ashes on the outskirts of town, beyond the collapsed towers, beyond the broken bridge where dried blood has forever stained the hot pavement. Military trucks are abandoned there, a few on either side, and I remember that it looked like a welcome from the angels of death, like anyone who stepped foot onto the bridge would soon perish and fall away from the world in seconds.
We went there to survey the area, to get an estimate of how much it would cost us to repair the bridge, plant more trees and rebuild the buildings. The chancellor wasn’t happy that it would cost so much, but she didn’t say as much though, I could see it in her eyes. It’s the same look she gives whenever something displeases her, even in the slightest, but this anger wasn’t slight.
“They could have made it easier,” is what she grumbled, stepping over a lifeless body, reminding me that they too, were scattered around the area. I did my best to ignore them; their stiff bodies, frozen expressions, thoughtless eyes were all too much for me. I’m not a fighter, so I wasn’t there when it happened. All I did was sort her paperwork, and make sure the People’s Army was well fed and clothed.For whatever reason, I hadn’t expected the sun to rise after the last shell had been dropped. After the weapons cooled and bodies started to stink, I was fairly certain that the sun would never rise on us again, and as if to witness the great darkness of our age, I stood at this bridge and watched the indigo hue of the horizon lighten. The sky was just as beautiful as it was in my happiest memories, the times before death, before death. I cried, but not because I helped slaughter two million people. I cried because the sun still rose on our darkness, chasing away the murky shadows as if to tell me that the world was alright, that it would be alright. I cried because I realized that even the sun lies.
L.P. is an emerging writer who earned a BA in Political Science and History from Wesleyan College. She concerns herself with subtleties in behavior and emotions, and experimentation with genres and language. Her first short story, ‘September 2008,’ appears in Clarendon Publishing House’s Blaze anthology.